When I was in 2nd grade, one of my friend’s old sisters, who was in 4th grade and had just watched the movie, shared her new knowledge of how babies are made with us. I was mortified. I decided right then and there that my future husband and I were going to adopt kids, because there was NO WAY we were going to, you know, do it. GROSS.
Of course, I laugh at my 2nd grade reaction to sex now. My desire to adopt kids, though, hasn’t gone away. My reasons have changed but my passion has grown. And it’s weird, because I feel like my mind, my heart, and my soul are all together on this one, but took different tracks to reach the same conclusion.
My interest in social justices is what I owe my mind’s decision to. I want to get the root of problems. I’m pro-choice when it comes to the abortion issue, but I hate abortion (Does anyone actually like abortion itself?). Growing up in the conservative Christian environment that I did, I heard a lot of offhand and nasty remarks about abortion, the people who do abortions, and the people who have abortions. I have two problems with that: the first is that is completely disregards the fact that many women get abortions because of financial reasons–not because they are monsters–so banning abortion isn’t getting to the root of the problem. The second is that, from my own experience, the same people who make those remarks and protest those abortion clinics, have never lifted a single finger to help a pregnant woman who is struggling or to adopt those babies who otherwise would have been aborted. That is SO hypocritical. I don’t want to be like that. I want to do something with my belief in how sacred human life is.
My heart owes its decision to my buddy, J. My mom’s friend was the one who brought him home from the hospital. She had him as a foster kid for three years and was eventually able to adopt him (or as he says, “the day we became a family.”). I’ve been babysitting him since she brought him home and he’s seven years old now. We’ve always clicked. I mean, one of my gifts is that I’m naturally good at building with relationships with children, but J and I, we just had this bond from the beginning. It doesn’t matter that I’m away at college. When I come home, we pick up where we left off.
Even when J’s being a brat or we are bickering, which happens from time to time, I have never been able to get over this amazing child his biological mom and dad are missing out on. I don’t mean that in a judgmental or angry way. I just… I see the sparkle in his eye when we’re pretending to be ninjas or hear the earnestness in his voice when he’s telling me a story, and I get a little sad about it. I think of all the other J’s out there. I want them to come and find a home with me. J changed my heart.
My soul’s yearning to adopt is something I can’t explain. It’s just there, the way a lot of my girlfriends really just want to have their own babies, the way working with kids makes me come alive but the way computer coding (or whatever it’s called…I don’t know; I can’t even get the jump drive plugged into the USB port correctly on the first try) is what my brother is wired to do. It’s just how it is.
I don’t mean to say that people who decide to have their own kids are bad people. I think that kind of family is quite beautiful. I come from one of those families. But it’s not the only kind of family, and not the kind I envision having for myself.
I know I have to finish school and get financially set and possibly married before I start that kind of family, but the yearning for it overcomes me from time to time. I can’t wait.